Billy Graham Hospitalized with Internal Bleeding
Today's Top Five
1. Billy Graham suffers repeated bouts of internal bleeding
The evangelist and founder of Christianity Today entered an Asheville, North Carolina, hospital Saturday night with intestinal bleeding. After reports that he was steadily improving, Graham experienced another bout of bleeding Monday morning. The bleeding "ceased soon afterwards," the hospital reported. "He stayed fully alert, and his condition quickly stabilized." Doctors are trying to determine the source of the bleeding.
Graham spokesman A. Larry Ross noted that Graham suffered from similar bleeding during a 1995 Toronto crusade, and recovered quickly. "His vital signs are good, and he's resting comfortably," Ross told the Asheville Citizen-Times.
2. Amnesty International supports "decriminalisation of abortion," "access to abortion"
Here's a section from Amnesty International's press release about its International Council Meeting:
With the prevention of violence against women as its major campaigning focus, Amnesty International's leaders committed themselves anew to work for universal respect for sexual and reproductive rights. Amnesty International committed itself to strengthening the organization's work on the prevention of unwanted pregnancies and other factors contributing to women's recourse to abortion and affirmed the organization's policy on selected aspects on abortion (to support the decriminalisation of abortion, to ensure women have access to health care when complications arise from abortion and to defend women's access to abortion, within reasonable gestational limits, when their health or human rights are in danger), emphasizing that women and men must exercise their sexual and reproductive rights free from coercion, discrimination and violence.
The awkward sentence structure leaves some room for interpretation. Does Amnesty "support the decriminalisation of abortion" completely, or only "when [women's] health or human rights are in danger"? What does it mean by "reasonable gestational limits"?
Senior policy and campaigns director Widney Brown told the Kaiser Foundation that the "policy does not acknowledge abortion as a 'fundamental right' for women, and the organization supports the right of states to put 'reasonable limitations' on abortion providers and to prosecute those who risk women's lives by performing unsafe abortions."
Roman Catholic Bishop Michael Evans, who has done some prominent work on behalf of Amnesty (he composed a prayer for the organization's promotional postcards, for example) has resigned from the organization. "Our proper indignation regarding pervasive violence against women should not cloud our judgment about our duty to protect the most vulnerable and defenseless form of human life," he wrote. "In time Amnesty may seek to develop this policy further, but even this current limited decision makes it very difficult for Catholics to remain members of Amnesty or to give it any financial support."
Evans notes that the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the 1959 Declaration on the Rights of the Child emphasize that "the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth."
"This must surely be part of the body of international human rights law to which Amnesty International is committed," Evans said.
The Irish Times reports that the Irish branch of Amnesty will not promote the new policy.
Peter Benenson, who founded Amnesty International in 1961, converted to Roman Catholicism in 1958. He died in 2005.
Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
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